A co-worker was telling me today that he had bought a new computer after an unfortunate experience with his old computer, which was still using Windows 98. His story goes something like this:
Some time around the 17 or 18th of March, his son, who was on-line with the computer, hollered, “Hey Dad, look at this.” When he looked at the screen, there was some sort of error message that made him pick up the phone — they are still using dial-up — and shutdown the computer.
Over the phone line he heard electronic sounds, so he hung up, and picked it back up and hung up and picked it back up when the sounds were still there. After repeating this several times, an operator came on and asked if she could help him. He explained what had happened and what he had heard. She told him, “Sir, I show that you have an international call in progress, right now.” He told her that he needed her to terminate that call.
This coworker is not very computer savy — good enough at work to get his job done — and was ready to move up to a newer computer and operating system, so he’s not planning on trying to clean the old one of whatever malignant code was the problem. However, he did contact his financial institutions that he deals with on line and had them change his access information.
I don’t know if this has anything to do with the portscan worm that has been probing my computer since March 18 — its spoofed address is 188.8.131.52, an address that is supposed to be for internal US Department of Defense use — but this is one type of activity that an intruder could accomplish if he makes it through into your computer. (I originally posted about the port scan worm in a post on March 18, titled Worm Attack!!!.)
Post from one of my abandoned blogs – North Farnham Freeholder – recovered from Internet Archive WayBackMachine; March 2011